Family trusts face huge tax bills

More than 200,000 family trusts may face huge tax bills because they have failed to tell the ATO they want to claim trust status. One tax agent said his client had recently received a $2 million tax bill because he hadn't lodged the “family trust election” form. Thousands more taxpayers may also face ATO bills because they've forgotten to lodge the form – a Government requirement since 1999 aimed at stemming tax avoidance. Accountants want the Government to alter the law or grant the taxpayers amnesty. They have also requested a review of recent ATO practice in relation to the law.

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